1,3-Diphenylpropenones (chalcones) are well known for their diverse array of bioactivities. Hydroxyl group substituted chalcones are the main precursor in the synthesis of flavonoids. Till date various methods have been developed for the synthesis of these very interesting molecules. Continuing our efforts for the development of simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective methodologies, we report here a solvent free condensation of aryl ketones and aldehydes using iodine impregnated alumina under microwave activation. This new protocol has been applied to a variety of substituted aryl carbonyls with excellent yield of substituted 1,3-diphenylpropenones.
Differently substituted chalcones were synthesized using iodine impregnated neutral alumina as catalyst in 79-95% yield in less than 2 minutes time under microwave activation without using any solvent. The reaction was studied under different catalytic conditions and it was found that molecular iodine supported over neutral alumina gives the best yield. The otherwise difficult single step condensation of hydroxy substituted aryl carbonyls is an attractive feature of this protocol to obtain polyhydroxychalcones in excellent yields. In order to find out the general applicability of this new endeavor it was successfully applied for the synthesis of 15 different chalcones including highly bioactive prenylated hydroxychalcone xanthohumol.
A new, simple and solvent free method was developed for the synthesis of substituted chalcones in environmentally benign way. The mild reaction conditions, easy work-up, clean reaction profiles render this approach as an interesting alternative to the existing methods.
The article is published online Chemistry Central Journal and is free to access.